Protesters gather outside Parliament House for the Reclaim Australia rally. Photo: Adrian Beattie Perth’s Reclaim Australia rally is against Islamic influence. Photo: Adrian Beattie
Anti-Islam protesters are gathering outside Perth’s Parliament House to take part in the national Reclaim Australia rally.
Many were draped in the Australian flag and carried signs denouncing sharia law and halal certification for Australian products.
The group Reclaim Australia is holding nationwide rallies against “sharia law, halal tax and Islamisation”.
A police cordon, including mounted police, formed a line to keep the Recalim Australia demonstrators apart from a group of anti-racism protesters gathered nearby.
In Melbourne, violence broke out at opposing protests over issues of extremism and tolerance.
Tensions flared and scuffles broke out in Federation Square, forcing mounted police and those on the ground to form barricades to separate the angry crowds.
Reclaim Australia protesters took the geographical higher ground in one of a number of Australia-wide protests opposing “sharia law, halal tax and Islamisation”.
They were met by opposition from groups including Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative, who shouted anti-racist slogans.
Paramedics were forced to treat several people for injuries as protesters confronted each other in the street.
Some clashed in brawls while others chased away those who opposed their views.
In Sydney’s Martin Place, separated by a wall of police, anti-racist and anti-Islam protesters faced off near the scene of last year’s Lindt Cafe siege.
Tensions almost erupted when a woman ran on stage at the Reclaim Australia camp, grabbed the microphone and told the crowd they should be ashamed.
Riot police were quick to respond and quell any clashes.
In Brisbane, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson declared she was not a racist during the Reclaim Australia rally.
Ms Hanson, who narrowly lost her fight for a seat in the 2015 Queensland election, joined hundreds of protesters in King George Square.
Tempers flared as a counter-rally was held opposite the event and at least 30 police officers kept the two groups separate. Follow WAtoday on Twitter
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